Northern Iowa jumped out to a 12-point halftime lead and never looked back in downing Drake last night 71-56 in Missouri Valley Conference play. The win ups UNI’s record to 2-0 in the conference. Robbie Sieverding led UNI with 18 points, Erick Smith has 13, and the three other Panther starters also hit double figures. Luke McDonald scored 20 points to lead Drake, while J.J. Sola had 13. Panther Coach Gregg McDermott said getting the conference win was more important than the in-state rivalry.The win moves the surprising Panthers to 7-4 on the season, already equaling the number of wins they had all last year. It is the first time since the 1991-92 season that UNI has started conference play at 2-0. Drake falls to 1-1 in the conference and 6-6 overall.
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